"Ted Lasso," the heartwarming and hilarious Apple TV+ show about an American football coach who finds himself coaching a British soccer team, has taken the world by storm. While the show is a delightful mix of humor, character development, and life lessons, there's more to it than meets the eye. In fact, Ted Lasso's unique approach to coaching aligns perfectly with the principles of Agile, which has revolutionized project management and software development in recent years. Let's explore what we can learn from his unconventional methods.
One of the fundamental principles of Agile is adapting and embracing change. Ted Lasso's journey begins with a major life change, as he leaves his comfort zone in America to coach soccer in England, despite having no experience with the sport. Throughout the series, he demonstrates adaptability by constantly learning, evolving, and adjusting his coaching style to better serve the team. His willingness to embrace change, even when uncomfortable, is the hallmark of agility.
Collaboration and Teamwork
In Agile, teamwork and collaboration are essential for success. Ted Lasso brings this to life in the way he encourages and fosters a sense of camaraderie among the players, the coaching staff, and the club's staff. He promotes open communication, active listening, and empathy, creating an environment where everyone feels valued and heard. By breaking down silos and encouraging collaboration, Ted builds a strong, united team better equipped to tackle challenges and achieve shared goals.
Empowerment and Accountability
Agile coaches empower team members to take ownership of their work and hold themselves accountable for their results. Ted Lasso applies this principle by giving his players the autonomy and confidence to make decisions and solve problems on their own. He trusts them to make the right calls and supports them even when they make mistakes, fostering a sense of accountability and ownership. This approach leads to a more engaged and motivated team, ultimately driving better performance.
Agile is all about iterating and improving. Throughout the series, Ted constantly seeks ways to improve himself and his team. From studying soccer strategy to experimenting with new coaching techniques, Ted relentlessly pushes everyone around him to get better. By encouraging his team to learn from their mistakes and grow, Ted cultivates a culture of innovation and progress.
In Agile, the role of a coach or leader is to serve the team by providing guidance, removing obstacles, and creating an environment where team members can thrive. Ted Lasso embodies this servant leadership approach, putting his players' needs and well-being above his own. He invests in their personal growth, cares for them as individuals, and strives to make a positive impact on their lives both on and off the field. This selfless approach to leadership fosters trust, respect, and a strong sense of team unity.
Ted Lasso may not have set out to be an Agile coach, but his unique and effective approach to coaching aligns perfectly with the principles of Agile. By embracing change, fostering collaboration, empowering team members, focusing on continuous improvement, and practicing servant leadership, Ted demonstrates the power of Agile in action. Whether you're a fan of the show or an Agile practitioner, there's much to learn from Ted Lasso's refreshing and unconventional approach to coaching and leadership.